What is it? Molasses based rum, distilled via column still at the Grays distillery in Mauritius. This rum was distilled in 2007 and bottled in 2015, making it 8 years old or there abouts. The maturation of this rum was done solely in Limousin oak (French oak), cask number 174-15 and my bottle is number 410 of 526 bottles (Limousin casks are much bigger than bourbon casks). The casks are the same type of casks that Cognac is matured in and provides a tight grain and spicy resulting spirit.
Natural colour, no chill filtration has been done and it’s been bottled at cask strength of 49.9% abv.
The label is a generic label but it looks like the specifics to this vintage have been hand written, a nice touch.
I don’t normally mention colour of a rum, as a lot of rums have added colourant so it’s irrelevant, and even where a rum is naturally coloured it doesn’t give any indication of the coming profile, however I will note that this rum seems to have a distinct red/brown hue – I’m not sure what the previous content of the casks were but that may well be colouring it.
Sugar? I’ve had it from the horses mouth that there are no additives. This hasn’t been independently verified for this rum but I’m not finding anything suspicious on tasting.
Nose: Barbequed peaches, rolling tobacco, charred wood, barbequed pineapple. My local delicatessen does a hand made pineapple glazed smoked ham – it smells like that. A beautiful incense smell that is really quite prominent, sandalwood, cedar, old wooden boxes and hot leather that’s been sitting in the sun. There is a little marine fuel, oil and a touch of briney sea side. Under all this I can still find the fresh stone fruit that was all so present in the standard 8 year old bottling but it’s not as sharp – it’s more orange forward and smoky.
Palate: Medium to full. Sweet, tangy, zippy fruits at first – very much of the standard 8 year old with apricots, nectarines, mangoes and yellow plums. Heat from the abv but just enough. Spices from the cask as it goes on with white pepper and ginger root. Lovely smoky notes roll in your mouth like a good cigar or pipe. A slight hint of tar as it moves to the finish.
Finish: Medium, could be longer really. Tarry, brine, WD40, thick smoke and fruity again but this time the burnt and charred stuff from the nose comes back with caramilzed smoked pineapple that lingers in amongst that thick silky smoke, but it remains fresh and not overbearing.
Thoughts? I loved the 8 year old and I had high expectations of this – boy did it deliver! Everything I hoped it’d be over and above the 8 year old; just thicker, bigger, smokier and more intense in every way. This is so balanced, complex and deep that I really struggle to believe this is a single cask. One of my favourite rums so far, stunning.
Normal retail for this at the time I bought it was around £70, which is a lot for an 8 year old. I picked mine up during an offer at £55…..get me a case of the stuff!